Become A Student of Yoga in 3 Steps


Being a student of yoga.

Here’s how…

Assuming I am still alive, I will be studying yoga until I am dead 🙂

Yoga, as most of us come to realize, is a lifelong study.  We may begin with the practice to loose weight or because a friend dragged us into class; but sooner or later the practice becomes more expansive.

Almost as if by magic, our mood improves, we become more available for other people and our values shift. We can start to see the interconnected nature between our thoughts and our circumstances.

As a natural extension of these discoveries, it is quite natural for one to want to share the gift of yoga with others, to teach.  Imparting the teachings of yoga is a wondrous opportunity that can reveal deeper dimensions of your own life as well as in the lives of your students.

There is just one caveat…

You must forever remain a student.

If you are not diligent in your own personal practice, or mistake teaching time for practice time, your teaching will likely become rote and uninspired -you lose the magic.  Personal practice is the foundation of teaching.

Here are a few time tested and simple tips for strengthening your personal practice and sewing the seeds of the inner teacher.


3 Ways to Truly Become A Student of Yoga

 

1. Have a Dedicated Space

Having a dedicated space in which to stretch, breath and or meditate is essential.  It does not have to be fancy. My first meditation enclave was wedged between a wall and a desk.  It felt like home.  Establishing home base for your practice will build up a vital charge of energy and association that will strengthen your practice.  Find some way to designate a formal practice space.

 

2. Regular Practice

In order for the practices to work, you have to do them.

I often tell students to make it easy on themselves by just committing to practicing on a daily basis, no matter how small.  This will circumvent the tendency to fall into “tomorrow” syndrome, in which it becomes more and more easy to dismiss the value of yoga practice with each passing day; until it becomes a nice idea rather than a living breathing reality.

If you want to get good at anything, whether it is playing the piano, mastering card tricks, learning to paint or pursuing your unique and noble life’s purpose, you have to practice.

 

3. Find Positive Association

The more we practice yoga, the more sensitive we become to what is wholesome and supportive to our well being and what is not.  Turning the tide of negative behavior takes ongoing dedicated practice as well as a healthy dose of love and acceptance.

What can we do outside of our formal practice time that will support our formal practice?  What foods do we eat?  Who do we hang out with?  What time do we go to bed at night?  Was that third slice of chocolate cake really worth it?

Find behaviors and associations that will feed your time on the mat or meditation cushion -it will generate a positive self reinforcing cycle.

 

Conclusion…

Being a dedicated student of yoga requires ongoing practice, it does not happen all at once. We may fail many times before overcoming our inner obstacles.  Teaching yoga gives us a chance to share the techniques with others and in the process, reinforce our  commitment and dedication to personal practice.  Be a yogi first, a teacher second.

Derik

 


Free Student-Lead Yoga Classes (Practicums)

Come experience these one of a kind classes and support these students and they show off the skills they have learned and blossom into full-fledged teachers!

Sunday, June 4, 2017
Class 1: Our Eternal Thread
1-2:30PM
Brian, Donna & Nikole

Class 2: The Space Within
3-4:30PM
Lindsay, Paul, Malina & Ashley

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Class 3: Sun, Earth, Moon
1-2:30PM
Lynda, Rebecca, Kristine

Class 4: The Yoga Breath & Mind
3-4:30PM
Haley, Lisa & Monica

Free to the public
3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC ~ Upstairs

 

The Center of the Universe is Right Here

As we gear up for our upcoming Spring retreat, we are examining the theme of “returning to center” and what it means. Beth Sanchez is special guest on our blog today and will be co-teaching the retreat. Let us know what you think about the notion of returning to center and self reflection. And thank you to Beth for her thoughts and commentary below.

For me, I go in and out of seeing, knowing, feeling, believing, and abiding in the deeply inter-connected Universe. – Beth Sanchez

Indra is an ancient Vedic Diety, a God-King and administrator. His net forms the very fabric of creation. At every cross point in the net, there is a jewel reflecting all other points across space and time. Everything in the mutually causal web is connected to, reflects, and is accessible through all points in the web. One incredibly close microcosm of this principle is right here in our own bodies, as this image of firing neurons suggests.

This ancient understanding is both old and new. Inter-connectivity, Inter-Being, Dependent Co-Arising, all things being related and depending on the existence of all other things to manifest; these are the truth claims of Indigenous humans everywhere and appear throughout Buddhist and Hindu thought as well as many other philosophies. In the book of Romans, Paul says “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”. The Zulu concept of Ubuntu refers to the deep relationality of human subjects offering each other humanity and existence.

From the Rig Veda to Parmenides, to Einstein and countless (m)others, the myth of separate self-ness has been dispelled innumerable times. Yet, the delusion of separate self-entities persists. The felt experiences of separation, alienation, pain and their emergent forms of structural violence toward the (ultimately nonexistent) “other”, defy our deepest knowing.

The experiences of unified awe or divisive pain either draws us toward fulfillment or away from it. Can it be that our access point to the heart of the Universe, to what seems to evade us, to the deepest satisfaction possible is right where we are? Can it be that what we most deeply long for is hidden right here in plain sight? Can it further be that returning to the center happens easily when we practice together with our relations who have the same hunch?

Stop right now, drop into your vast being in one single slow breath. IN……..(gap), OUT……..(gap).

Isn’t it a marvel?

If that small taste intrigues you, PRACTICE TOGETHER WITH DEAR ONES who share the same hunch. For me, I go in and out of seeing, knowing, feeling, believing, and abiding in the deeply inter-connected Universe. I know that in my own habitual self-ing, other-ing also arises and is part of multiple socio-political-economic systems in which I live. I am not yet fully established in this knowing. In fact, I only get glimpses; the kind that have “ruined” an otherwise promising conventional life. Yet these glimpses are undeniable and overwhelming and they happen more reliably WHEN I AM WITH YOU! Yes, I need the help of your presence and relationality. I hope you can relate!

Let us be here together, in the very center of the practice-hood, the center of sushumna, the center of the enzo, the center of our circle of friends, the center of our Self, the center of our home, the center of the Universe, that most holy place which is right here and right now. The portals are already open.

Beth
Beth Sanchez

 

 

“RETURN TO CENTER”
A DONATION-BASED RETREAT!
GRANT, CO – MAY 12-14, 2017

This unique retreat is co-lead by Derik Eselius and Beth Sanchez. With 34 years of yoga teaching experience between them, they have made a significant impact on the Denver yoga community, leading Yoga Teacher Training programs, and offering classes, workshops retreats that are affordable and accessible to people of all backgrounds.

Step out of your familiar routine and open the gateway to inner renewal and freedom. This retreat will be a remarkable opportunity to cultivate fresh insights and revitalize your core with the timeless practice of yoga. Join us as as we go beyond the ‘pose’ and dive into a multidimensional yoga practice; while surrounded by the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Learn more here.

Where: YMCA – Santa Maria Camp Center: 51321 US-285, Grant, CO 80448 | One hour from Denver!
When: May 12th, 10:30am to May 14th, 12pm (home in time for Mother’s Day!)
Cost: Only $199 to cover the costs of food and lodging, making this retreat accessible to everyone, plus a donation at the conclusion of the retreat.
Register: Click here to learn more and to register!